A phone conversation between Mohammed Adoke, former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Carlamaria Rumor, a reporter with RAI Television in Italy, has revealed how the former admitted knowing knowledge of wrongdoing in the hugely controversial Malabu Oil deal.
In the deal, the Nigerian government was paid $1.3 billion in 2011 by two international oil companies, AGIP and Shell for the purchase of OPL (Oil Prospecting License) 245 oil field. But the money found its way into individual pockets, with some reports saying that Goodluck Jonathan, former President, pocketed over $200 million from the deal.
The phone conversation between Adoke and Rumor took place on November 5, 2015, but was obtained by Premium Times on Friday.
During the conversation, Adoke admitted that “Dan Etete (former Minister of Petroleum Resources) collaborated with some Italian oil workers” to “divert some funds to foreign accounts” in an “illegal” move that “betrayed” the spirit of a tripartite agreement which the Nigerian government entered into with Italian oil giant Agip-Eni and Royal Dutch Shell on the one hand and Malabu Oil and Gas on the other”.
“Adoke, AGF from 2010-2015, admitted that Etete, an ex-convict, was actively involved in the talks held between Nigerian government officials, representatives of Agip-Eni, Shell and other players. This indicates that Mr Adoke recognised Mr Etete as the owner of Malabu Oil and Gas and dealt with him accordingly, thereby sidestepping Mohammed Abacha and other beneficial owners of the controversial oil firm,” the report by Premium times read.
Etete was said to have been convicted of money laundering in France and the conviction was also upheld by the country’s appeal court. But Adoke, knowing all these, still went ahead to negotiate with him.
“The newly released audio also marks the first time Adoke … will be caught admitting personal knowledge of the unspeakable corruption that went down in the depletion of the $1.3 billion which Agip-Eni and Shell paid to the Nigerian government for onward transmission to Malabu Oil for the purchase of OPL 245 oil field in offshore Nigerian waters,” the report added.
Adoke had filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, asking the court to hold that his actions with regards to the Malabu oil deal, were directed by then President Goodluck Jonathan, and as such, he could not be held liable for them.
Judgement on the case was delivered about three weeks ago with the court upholding Adoke’s prayers.
However, Premium Times reports that the EFCC could still try Adoke on other offences he must have committed with regards to the Malabu scandal, “especially on allegations that he received $2.2 million in bribes”.
Read the full Premium Times report here.